The First 30
I woke up at 5:05am to get ready to drive from Hollyweird to Las Vegas. I had the car packed and I was ready to leave by 5:37. Nicky decided to sit this trip out and she didn't go but was kind enough to loan me her car to drive to Vegas.
I made great time escaping Los Angeles city limits. I hate driving in L.A., but before 6am the freeways are almost empty. If it weren't for an accident in Victorville, I might have been able to do the trip in about 3.5 hours.
I arrived at Las Vegas airport at 10:05am. Senor's flight landed at 10:14am. Talk about perfect timing. Turtle's flight landed about twenty minutes later. I had not seen him in years. We go back, way back, to our old college days. We also used to raise hell together in NYC in the late 90s.
I drove Senor and Turtle to Red Rock Casino, where we had booked rooms. My room wasn't ready yet, but they got in. We grabbed a quick bite. They went to play golf and I opted out. If I had more time, I would have, but I had to pick up Derek at the airport and I wanted to play some poker.
Derek's flight from NYC was slightly delayed and by the time he got in, our room at Red Rock was ready. We checked in and headed straight to the poker room. We were seated at the same table, before we were both moved to the same table. I had a bad day. I didn't play very well and made a couple of mistakes. Combine that with a lot of bad luck and I had an awful session. The only big pot that I won? I got lucky too.
I lost about $400 and couple have lost more. Senor and Turtle returned at the perfect time. We grabbed a quick bite and then started drinking. The next thing I know, we're in a taxi headed to Spearmint Rhino.
The Rhino was packed for a Wednesday night. Turtle and Derek had never been before. I took Senor for the first time almost three years ago. We went with Grubby and made up fake names and occupations, something we still do to this day.
One stripper with watermelon boobs wandered over. She asked me what I did for a living.
"You're looking at it," I said.
We found a table that had an interesting location. It was prime spot for strippers to stop by and hard-sell you on a table dance or a trip to the VIP room. However, since we were in the middle of the fly zone for strippers, we were constantly bombarded.
Turtle knew better not to tell the girls what he did for a living, but he was pretty sloshed and didn't care.
"So what do you do?" she asked.
"I'm an attorney on Wall Street," he answered.
"That's hot, Daddy!" was her response.
Over the course of the night, I told strippers that I worked in professions that my friends actually did in real life. A wedding DJ. A slot machine designer. A software engineer. Band manager. Classics professor. Even a professional keno player.
One nubile blonde took a liking to me and kept asking me questions about what I do.
"I get paid to write endless drivel."
She didn't know what drivel meant. I substituted, "I'm an entertainment hack."
She said that her name was "Ali." I always say, "Cute name, but what's your real name?"
"It's just shortened," she said. "My real name is Allison."
"I don't believe you."
"I'll prove it," she said as she dug through her tiny purse and dug out a California driver's license. Sure enough, she was in fact an Allison had a Pasedena address. I glimpsed at her birthdate.
"Happy belated birthday," I said.